If you are looking for a more flexible curriculum that allows you to take a variety of subjects while having multiple exam date options, A-levels are the perfect option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more rigorous program, the IB is the right choice. Generally speaking, the IB will take longer than the A levels. Ultimately, the decision between the IB Diploma and A-levels must depend on what the student wants to achieve, both academically and in life.
Both Level A and the IB Diploma benefit students who have decided on a specialization program. The IB Diploma can be an advantage in keeping options open and offering a broader education and preparing students well for university studies and the workplace. The development of general knowledge in a broader subject level up to the age of 18 undoubtedly provides a very valuable skill set for the future, and the experiences offered by the additional basic elements of the DP can give the student a critical competitive advantage in their career by entering the university of the choice. Many parents find themselves weighing IB against A levels, so it's important to understand the main difference between these two programs.
While the IB is designed for the development of a well-rounded student, A-Levels students can specialize. For example, the IB would not normally allow students to study more than two sciences to make room for other subjects in the program. However, students who choose the A-Level route would have no problem studying three sciences (Physics, Biology and Chemistry, for example), especially if it would prepare them well for a course at the university where they have their hearts set. This route would prepare them well to have a very in-depth knowledge of these complementary areas of Science.
Therefore, for students whose strengths lie in a very particular academic area, A-Levels provide an opportunity to specialize earlier. However, some students stand out for the breadth offered by the IB, while others benefit from A-Levels, which is a detailed program. One confusion that most parents have, especially when their children are ready to move from elementary school to high school, is choosing a curriculum that helps with college admission. With all this in mind, it is possible that some of the differences between level A and level IB are becoming less pronounced.
If you're wondering if you should be pursuing the IB or A levels, it's about what's best for you personally: both are well-respected academic degrees. The IB Diploma offers a different method of evaluation and an alternative philosophy to the way in which the Sixth Year should be approached. There are five full IB schools offering all three programs, including the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and the IB Middle Years Program (MYP), and the (IBDP). Levels A are the national high school English title, while the IB is an international degree that has no country of origin.
A similarity between the IB Diploma and the A levels is that both qualifications are assessed by examinations at the end of a two-year period of study. The IB Diploma is suitable for students who want to maintain breadth in the choice of subjects and who are willing to work hard in a structured environment and tolerate tackling weak areas. It is assumed that the IB has a wider international acceptance than the A levels, but, in practice, most IB students in Greece want to study in the UK. In addition, the IB also tends to prepare students for university-level work more effectively, as there are research papers that count towards the final grade (internal assessments and monograph) over the two years, and not just the final exams.
Level A students are not asked to complete any meaningful class work, such as the extended IB essay, outside of their regular courses, meaning they can devote their time entirely to the subjects they have chosen. A levels are graded with letters, with A* being the highest grade, while the IB uses a point system (the perfect score is 45 points), where 24 points or more guarantee an IB diploma. Still, as an IB student, I can't deny that it's sometimes a little overwhelming, so if you don't consider yourself a very “academic” person and prefer to have more free time, the IB may not be the right program for you. Universities respect IB and A levels as academically challenging grades, so generally speaking, it doesn't matter which one you have, as long as you've studied the right subjects at the right level.
Understanding the real differences between the IB Diploma and the A levels is key to being able to make the right decision. Some students will thrive with the greater breadth offered by the IB, while others will benefit more by being able to reduce what they need to study at the A-Levels. . .